Dental care for dogs is commonly overlooked by many. We brush our teeth twice a day yet we typically don’t even consider brushing the teeth of our dogs. According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, up to 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease by the age of three. It doesn’t take long for problems to arise in our dogs, especially dental issues. Not all dogs will enjoy the daily or at minimum few days a week of their teeth being brushed but keep it up and they’ll eventually learn to accept it a little better.
With no daily cleaning, bacteria in the mouth combined with saliva and food on the teeth and gums, causes the sticky plaque to form. As this builds up, it’ll harden and become what is called tartar. When the plaque and tartar build-up, this is what causes the inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. This process is painful for your dog and is known as periodontal disease. If it is left untreated it can cause tooth decay and loss of the teeth.
Brushing is Best
There is really no substitute for brushing but if I’m honest, this task can truly seem daunting. You only need to brush the teeth for a minute and be sure to use a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Below is one of my go-to toothbrush sets for my dogs.
I recommend trying to introduce your pet to a toothbrush and toothpaste as young as possible. If you adopt an older dog, let them decompress a bit at your house before introducing it but don’t wait too long. Just make sure they feel comfortable with you and at your house prior to the introduction. One way to begin this process is to put a dab of toothpaste on your finger and let your dog sniff or lick it. Do this daily and if possible at the same day each day. After a week or two, use the toothbrush with the toothpaste and brush the outside of your dog’s teeth. As your pet grows more comfortable, you can begin massaging the toothpaste over the teeth and gums. Once your pet is fully comfortable, this process should only take about a minute to clean all the teeth.
Be sure to stay patient and stick with it. This daily brushing will be the most beneficial way to avoid the tartar buildup and the need for those annual dental cleanings.
Does your dog enjoy having their teeth brushed? Let us know in the comment section below.